Airbus technical magazine

Airbus technical magazine
Airbus technical magazine
January 2014
#53
FAST
Flight Airworthiness Support Technology
Airbus technical magazine
Your Airbus technical magazine is now on tablet
#53
FAST
Flight Airworthiness Support Technology
Publisher: Bruno PIQUET
Editor: Lucas BLUMENFELD
Design: Daren BIRCHALL
Cover: Electrical Structure Network
Photo by: Master Films / J-B ACCARIEZ
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Ground lightning
protection
04
Handling Qualities
Analysis
10
A350 XWB
Electrical Structure Network 20
02
FAST#52
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Towards a high European
air traffic demand 26
Volcanic eruptions:
Ashes to AVOID
32
FAST
from the past
38
We’ve got it
covered
39
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03 FAST#53
ISSN 1293-5476
Ground lightning protection
Ground
lightning
protection
Airbus recommends disconnecting the Ground Power Unit from the aircraft during
storms to avoid damage to electrical components. In practice, during the TurnAround-Time, the ground power supply needs to remain connected to continue
supplying the aircraft with power. It is under these circumstances that the aircraft
is particularly vulnerable.
Faraday cage/shield
An aircraft is designed as a Faraday cage (see side box), which is a structure that
blocks external static and non-static electric fields, therefore avoiding damage by
lightning strikes. However, when an aircraft is connected to a ground power supply,
the connecting cable provides a direct route to the aircraft’s systems.
Such an enclosure blocks external
static and non-static electric fields
by channelling electricity through
the mesh, providing constant
voltage on all sides of the enclosure.
Since the difference in voltage is
the measure of electrical potential,
no current flows through the space.
A Faraday cage (or shield) is an
enclosure formed by conducting
material or by a mesh of such
material.
By electromagnetic induction (see side box) a lightning strike can damage the Primary
Electrical Power Distribution Centre (PEPDC) and/or the Generator & Ground Power
Control Unit (GGPCU). This kind of damage would result in an Aircraft On Ground
(AOG), requiring costly repairs taking up to six days to complete.
An adapter for
Ground Power Units
Fig. 1
Lightning
strike
Ground
Power Unit
(GPU)
A380 operators reported incidents of lightning strikes
while parked on the apron at Singapore’s Changi
international airport. These strikes were principally
attracted due to a combination of the airport’s surface,
the local climate and the height of the aircraft. In just
seven months, Airbus’ Operational Reliability Task Force
developed a dedicated Lighting Protection Unit (LPU),
which is now undergoing in-service evaluation with our
customers.
Working ‘like lightning’ to develop a solution
Operators requested that Airbus quickly find a solution to protect ground power
connected to the A380 in these particular conditions. In December 2012 during
Airbus’ A380 symposium at Dubai (United Arab Emirates), the A380 Chief Engineer
(Marc GUINOT) committed to resolving the issue before the end of June 2013.
A Faraday cage operates because
an external static electrical field
causes the electric charges within
the cage’s conducting material
to be distributed such that they
cancel the field’s effect in the cage’s
interior. This phenomenon is used,
for example, to protect electronic
equipment from lightning strikes
and electrostatic discharges.
Electromagnetic induction
Induced voltage is an electric
potential created by an electric field,
magnetic field or a current.
This is conducted to the ground
by an ionized section of the
atmosphere, and can easily induce
voltages in conductive material
such as electrical cabling.
04
FAST#53
The equatorial climate is often characterized by heavy heat
and regular precipitations throughout the year. This leads to
strong, electrically charged, thunder storms particularly in the
monsoon season.
The height of the A380’s vertical stabilizer coupled with the
structure of the apron’s surface increases the possibility that
the aircraft may be struck, directly or indirectly, during the
Turn-Around-Time (TAT).
Article by
Frédéric FORGET
A380 Work Package Leader
AIRBUS
[email protected]
December Airbus Chief Engineer commits to airlines
Plug interface found
Lightning protection requirements
January
LPU development launched with Leach International
First specific draft
February
LPU design frozen
Plug integration tests on aircraft
March
Plug design frozen
April
May
Design
Office
development
Design
Office
project
management
Integration and tests
June
Parts delivery to airlines
July
In-service evaluation
05 FAST#53
The context
2013 / 2012
November Design office put in the loop
Ground lightning protection
Ground lightning protection
DO160
Frédéric FORGET, from Airbus’ Electrical and Optical Standard parts’ department took
the lead and was tasked with quickly finding a solution - a big challenge knowing that
this type of project usually takes 18 to 24 months.
He set up a dedicated task force with the lightning strikes’ and electrical network
specialists. Due to the time constraints of validating changes to the aircraft itself,
the task force focused on providing external protection. The idea was to develop an
external protection tool for Ground Support Equipment (GSE). The decision was then
taken to use the same technology already existing inside the aircraft to protect the power
feeder: the Lightning Protection Unit (LPU), but optimized for this specific application.
The DO160 is an official document which defines a series of minimum
standard environmental test conditions (categories) and applicable test
procedures for airborne equipment. The purpose of these tests
is to provide a laboratory means of determining the performance
characteristics of airborne equipment. These environmental conditions
are representative of those which may be encountered in airborne operation
of the equipment.
The DO160 provides the test methods
and procedures to verify the capability
of equipment to withstand transient
voltages which are intended to represent
the induced effects of lightning.
The most relevant waveform for our
application is the voltage waveform 2.
Voltage spike envelope shows the acceptable voltage input.
Voltage waveform 2
This illustration gives the “shape” of the
lightning threat applied to LPU plug pins.
An LPU embedded solution
Knowing that it would also have taken too much time to develop a specific interface,
the team decided to embed the LPU into an existing adaptor plug (Fig. 2) manufactured
by TDA Lefebure, that would connect between the aircraft and the Ground Power Unit.
1000
In parallel, the lightning strike specialists defined the most realistic threat in order to
dimension the LPU protection. The lightning threat model used covered more than
90% of potential cases. The induced voltage generated by the lightning’s indirect
effect is 1,600 volts, or 14 times the aircraft’s normal network voltage.
Peak Voltage (volts)
600
The LPU uses transient voltage suppression diodes (Fig. 3) to filter the voltage spike
out through the ground during the lightning strike. The residual voltage after the LPU
shall not exceed the network voltage spike envelope defined in figure 5, keeping the
power entering the aircraft close to 115 volts.
Peak
T2 = 6.4 microseconds ± 20%
0
-600
The main functions of the LPU are to protect the electrical power line in case of
lightning strikes and not damage and/or perturb the power signal during, and after,
normal/abnormal transient voltage.
Fig. 2: the modified adaptor plug
and the LPU embedded on it
Fig. 3: transient voltage suppression
diodes inside the LPU:
A, B & C are the 115 volt phases.
N is the neutral reference.
E & F are the 28 volt interlock line
Fig. 5
T1 = 100 nanoseconds maximum
600
-600
-1000
5
10
50
0 1
Origin of time at the beginning of spike
100
500 1000
Time (µs)
0
T1
T2
t
Fig. 6
Ground service connections
and electrical service panels
A
B
Due to the ground service connections’ typology, it was necessary to design two
assembly configurations of the LPU plug (Fig. 4). Each A380 aircraft needs a set of
four plugs, the configuration ‘A’ plug is only used for the external ‘power 3’ receptacle
and the configuration ‘B’ for the external power plugs ‘1, 2 and 4’ (Fig. 6 & 7).
For the in-service evaluation six sets of four plugs were produced.
Fig. 4
External power receptacles
07 FAST#53
06 FAST#53
Airbus approached Leach International, suppliers of the A380’s internal LPU, to
redesign and resize it to handle the threat. The plug manufacturers redesigned it
to interface with the LPU. An integration test on the aircraft was done with a plug,
in order to check the pin retention and if the plug and the structure did not clash.
In parallel, Airbus used Catia DMU (Digital Mock-Up) software to visualize its integration.
Ground lightning protection
Ground lightning protection
FE2015-B
Ext Pwr 1
FE2015-B
Ext Pwr 4
FE2015-A
Ext Pwr 3
FE2015-B
Ext Pwr 2
Fig. 7
The configuration ‘A’ plug is only used for the external
‘power 3’ due to the orientation of the receptacle and the
configuration ‘B’ for the external power plugs ‘1, 2 and 4’
On the first prototype, Airbus conducted a programme of Validation and Verification
(V&V) tests, as well as electrical and lightning strike tests, using a model at Airbus’
lightning laboratory facility. All qualification tests were carried out at Leach’s laboratory.
The prototype passed all the requirements and Airbus qualified the solution.
CONCLUSION
Some regions around the world experience severe climate conditions
and lightning strikes may cause heavy damage to an aircraft.
Airbus developed a connecting plug with lightning protection for the A380,
to be installed between the ground cart power supply and the aircraft’s
power receptacle. These new adaptor plugs, developed in seven
months and delivered at the end of June 2013, deviate the eventual
electric surge to the ground and the airlines are now conducting
a six-month in-service evaluation to validate our laboratory findings.
Airbus also provided a technical report which explains the implementation
of the Lightning Protection Unit (LPU) for the A380 double-deck
Ground Power Unit connection.
Complementary LPU plug installation/removal AMM tasks
Removal:
• AMM task 24-41-00-862-801-A
• AMM task 24-41-00-862-801-A02
• AMM task 24-41-00-862-803-A
• AMM task 24-41-00-862-804-A
• AMM task 24-42-00-862-801-A
09
09 FAST#53
FAST#53
08 FAST#53
All aircraft are susceptible to lightning
Airbus built a mock-up in their lightning strike laboratory at Blagnac (France) to test
the lightning strike protection system. These tests are performed for every Airbus fleet
programme as shown here for the A350 XWB.
Installation:
• AMM task 24-41-00-861-801-A
• AMM task 24-41-00-861-801-A02
• AMM task 24-41-00-861-803-A
• AMM task 24-41-00-861-804-A
• AMM task 24-42-00-861-801-A
Handling Qualities
Analysis
Handling Qualities Analysis
Damage on an Auxiliary
Power Unit drain mast
following a tail strike event
Specific in-service
events analysis
When is an HQA report issued?
A Handling Qualities Analysis (HQA) report issued by Airbus is provided to
customers following occurrences such as:
• Hard landing leading to additional maintenance actions further to AMM
(Aircraft Maintenance Manual) findings or loads’ exceedance,
• Tail strike,
Following an in-service incident, airlines usually contact
Airbus’ engineering support to be provided with guidelines
and/or recommendations to release the aircraft back into
service (inspections, tests, etc.), with a clear objective to
limit as much as possible the impact on future operations.
• Runway excursion,
• Turbulence with serious injuries and/or excessive flight parameter deviations,
• Significant over-speed event leading to maintenance inspection
as per AMM requirements,
• Inappropriate aircraft handling:
- Unstable approach as per Flight Crew Operating Manual (FCOM),
Beyond technical assistance, Airbus offers to help operators
better understand the event through a detailed analysis, mainly
based on raw data extracted from the Flight Data Recorder.
- Significant bounce.
• Flight out of the aircraft’s certified envelope,
• Recurrent event identified by Airbus’ Product Safety Process.
Unexpected or major events may require structure inspections.
The major events entering the HQA scope
and their associated AMM tasks:
• Inspection after overweight/hard landing: AMM 05-51-11
Airbus contributes to the safety of Airbus’ aircraft
by monitoring and analysing in-service events reported
by airlines.
• Flight in turbulence or VMO (Maximum Operating Speed of an aircraft)
exceedance: AMM 05-51-17
The Handling Qualities’ activity supports globally Airbus’
Product Safety Process (PSP) and contributes to the
continuous improvement of our products.
As a general rule, any event requiring structure inspections is referenced
in any AMM chapter 05-51-xx.
• Tail strike: AMM 05-51-21
In the case of in-service
events (not covered in the
HQA occurrence list) on
which an operator would like
dedicated Airbus analysis for
specific happenings,
an HQA may be carried out
on a case-by-case basis.
• Runway excursion: AMM 05-51-24
11 FAST#53
10 FAST#53
Article by
Vincent MILLET
Senior Engineer
Handling Qualities Product Leader
AIRBUS
[email protected]
This Airbus activity, known as “Handling Qualities Analysis”
(HQA), consists of analysing specific in-service events.
It is carried out in close collaboration with several Airbus
departments such as Flight & Integration Test Centre,
Design Office, Flight Operations, Flight Safety and other
relevant Airbus Customer Services engineering departments.
- Abnormal landing,
Handling Qualities Analysis
Handling Qualities Analysis
Objectives of the HQA report
Independently of the aircraft’s release to service, the main customer’s concern
after an in-service event is to understand both the technical and operational
causes, in order to prevent a re-occurrence.
In-service events are recorded through the Flight Data Analysis (FDA) system and
directly reported to Airbus for investigations.
As a consequence and to help minimizing re-occurrences (and their associated
costs), Airbus performs a complete run-through of an in-service event, extracting
the scenario from the Flight Data Recording (FDR) decoding, to explain the
contributing factors.
Main objectives:
The HQA, based on the FDR raw data readout, is carried out in parallel with the
load analysis generally required for structure inspection purposes. The aircraft’s
release to service is out of the HQA activity’s scope.
• Understand an event
and its origin.
• Provide information
on operational best
practices to avoid
re-occurrence.
The HQA report highlights the contributing factors of an event by analysing the
aircraft’s systems behaviour and the aircraft’s response versus the pilot’s input.
To make it easier, the analysis gathers references of available operational Airbus
aircraft documentation, as well as design enhancements whenever applicable.
• Monitor the fleet
and systems’
design consistency.
If necessary, to better understand an operational event, the analysis could focus
on the logic of a particular system operating during the event (i.e. Ground spoilers’
automatic extension at touchdown).
Handling Qualities
Analysis meeting
Operational information can come either from operational manuals (Flight Crew Operating Manual
- FCOM, Flight Crew Training Manual - FCTM, Aircraft Flight Manual - AFM, etc.) or from Airbus’
general documentation (Flight Operations’ Briefing Notes, Getting to Grips with…, etc.)
With the HQA report in hand, the operator has a synthetic document to take appropriate decisions
or cascade down the relevant information.
On Airbus’ side, the airline’s feedback is key to monitor Airbus’ in-service fleet and to ensure
continued airworthiness, while enhancing and developing new systems and/or procedures to
continuously fit operational constraints.
Overview of conditions for the extension of ground spoilers
(Shown here for A340-500/600 aircraft)
Operational information can come either from operational manuals (Flight Crew
Operating Manual - FCOM, Flight Crew Training Manual - FCTM, Aircraft Flight
Runway
Recurrent
Manual - AFM, etc.) or from Airbus’ general documentation (Flight Operations’
excursion
event
Speed brake
nottoretracted
below 6etc.)
ft relative altitude
briefing notes,
Getting
Grips with…,
Speed brake not retracted below 6 ft Radio-Altimeter
AND
All thrust levers at idle
OR
Two symmetric thrust in reverse
Aft wheel speed > 72 kt on one main landing gear
Preselection
condition
AND
Two other levers at idle
Rejected Take-Off condition
OR
Radio-Altimeter < 6 ft
AND
Both main landing gear shock absorbers compressed
OR
AND
Wheel speed < 23 kt
One main landing gear shock absorbers compressed
OR
12 FAST#53
Radio-Altimeter < 6 ft
One main landing gear shock absorbers compressed
AND
to ensure Continued
Airworthiness.
Quantities
and percentages
Two symmetric thrust in reverse
Spoilers
and
ailerons
low speed
extension
initiation
6%
Spoilers
and
ailerons
high speed
extension
initiation
Spoilers
and
ailerons
low speed
extension
initiation
Hard
landing
46%
This allows enhancing and developing new systems and/or procedures to continuously fit Two
operational
constraints
other levers
at idle
Lateral
acceleration
Aft wheel speed > 72 kt on one main landing gear
at landing
11%
53Relative altitude < 6ft
Turbulence/
Overspeed
19%
Both main landing gear shock absorbers compressed
Aft wheel speed > 72 kt on one main landing gear
Forward wheel speed > 72 kt on one main landing gear
14%
Aft wheel speed > 72 kt on one main landing gear
Forward wheel speed > 72 kt on one main landing gear
22
Wheel speed < 23 kt
One main landing gear shock absorbers 12
compressed
Relative altitude < 6 ft
Hard
Turbulence/
Lateral acceleration
One main landing
gear shock absorbers
compressed
landing
Overspeed
at landing
16
7
4
Tail strike
at landing
Runway
excursion
Recurrent
event
13 FAST#53
Ground spoilers handle armed
4%
With theGrand
HQA report
in handle
hand, the
operator has a synthetic document to take approHandling
qualities
spoilers
armed
priate decisions or cascade down the relevant information.
Tail strike
reports
inthelevers
2012
All side,
thrust
at idle
On Airbus’
airline’s
feedback is key to monitor
Airbus’ in-service fleet and
at landing
OR
Handling Qualities Analysis
Auto-Thrust Active
Auto-Pilot 2 Engaged
Auto-Pilot 1 Engaged
Landing Gear Squat Switch LH
Auto-Pilot 2 Engaged
Landing Gear Squat Switch RH
Landing Gear Squat Switch LH
Landing Gear Squat Switch Nose
Pitch down
side-stick orders
Landing Gear Squat Switch Nose
Elevators Right (ELVR) -Elevators Left (ELVL) Stabilizer
10
FD1 Engaged
FD2 Engaged
Ground Spoilers Extension (SPL1B)
DA
Side Stick Roll Position
Captain (STKRC) -
-10
Pitch up
side-stick orders
10
DA
AOA 1
Angle of Attack (AOA2)
-20
DA
-20
5
DA
Roll Angle
0
Roll Angle
+4.9°
DA
-5
G
Lateral
load factor
+0.25 G
0.2
Normal
load factor
+2.89 G
2
Normal load factor (VRTG)
DA
Ailerons Left (AILL) Ailerons Right (AILR) --
Pitch
Angle
AOA 2
+5.3°
10
5
Side Stick Roll Position
First-officer (STKRF) -
20
20
-10
Angle of Attack (AOA1)
Pitch Angle (PTCH)
Lateral load factor (LATG)
G
0.0
1
Rudder
deflection
+14°
0.5
Longitudinal load factor (LONG)
G
5000
0.0
4500
FT
DA
80
-5
Aircraft
Heading
079°
400
CAS value
136 KT
Radio
Altimeters
(RALT)
FT
120
200
Ground Speed (GS)
Computed AirSpeed (CAS_ADC)
R
RALT1
140
Thrust levers
put on idle position
DA
-0
120
300
R
RALT2
Slat flap lever
in full landing configuration
%
Radio
Altimeters
(RALT)
200
FT
4
0
Heading
(HDG)
0
100
Thrust
decrease
80
DEG
KT
100
50
N1A2
-5
160
KT
N1A1
DA
0
140
TLA1
TLA2
5
Drift Angle
300
N1 Actual
Rudder Trim Deflection (RUDT)
Rudder Deflection (RUDD)
Rudder Pedal Deflection (RUDP)
500
130
Throttle Lever Angle (TLA)
Altitude
(ALT)
FT
4000
150
Ground Speed (GS)
Selected CAS PFD (SCAS PFD)
Computed Airspeed (CAS_ADC)
Degree Angle
Feet
acceleration value
Knots
Auto Brake Med
Landing Gear Squat Switch RH
Side Stick Roll Position
First-officer (STKRF) -
=
=
=
=
Auto-Pilot 1 Engaged
Auto-Thrust Engaged
Side Stick Roll Position
Captain (STKRC) -
DA
FT
G
KT
TOU C H D OWN
Using a specific Airbus tool, raw flight data is displayed
as graphic charts for the event’s analysis.
Recorded flight data in this format allows a detailed analysis
of aircraft behaviour and aircraft systems at the time of the event.
This example highlights some of the relevant parameters
used to analyse a hard landing event of an A320 aircraft.
TOU C H D OWN
F L A R E IN ITIA TION
Raw data decoding
F L A R E IN ITIA TION
Handling Qualities Analysis
100
Slat Flap Lever Position (SFLP)
Radio
Altimeters
50 ft
0
R
RALT1
R
RALT2
0
14 FAST#53
05:04:20
Aircraft: A320
Centre of Gravity (%)
WeightT (LBS)
Weight (KG)
05:04:24
05:04:28
05:04:32
05:04:36
05:04:40
05:04:44
TIME(H)
32.16
138160
62656
05:04:48
05:04:52
05:04:56
05:05:00
Aircraft: A320
APPROACH (LONGITUDINAL AXIS)
05:04:20
TIME(H)
Centre of Gravity (%)
Weight (LBS)
138160
Weight (KG)
62656
32.16
05:04:24
05:04:28
05:04:32
05:04:36
05:04:40
05:04:44
APPROACH (LATERAL AXIS)
05:04:48
05:04:52
05:04:56
05:05:00
15 FAST#53
0
Handling Qualities Analysis
Handling Qualities Analysis
Digital/Solid State
Flight
Data
Recorder
- In-service event analysis
- Frozen dataframe
- Crash protected
Once the data has been retrieved from the aircraft, it must be sent to Airbus either
by the airlines field representative or directly using Airbus’ File Transfer Service
Plus (FTS+) on AirbusWorld (https://ftsplus.airbus.com).
OPTIONAL
MAND ATOR Y
Usual data requested before starting
a Handling Qualities Analysis:
• Pilot’s report
• Post Flight Report
• Weather data
• Load and Trim sheet
• MEL (Minimum Equipment List)
open items
• Aircraft Condition Monitoring
System reports (Load Report
15, Over-Speed Report 35, etc.)
Quick
Access
Recorder
• Trouble-Shooting Data (TSD)
- Copy of Flight Data Recorder
- Easy access
Digital
Aids
Recorder
• Flight Data Recorder raw data
Smart
Access
Recorder
- Maintenance
and fleet monitoring
- Customized dataframe
Applicable
process
for in-service
events
• Part Numbers (PN) of the
aircraft’s computers involved
in the occurrence
OPERATOR
In-service event
Airbus Engineering Support
What data is used?
For absolute accuracy, Airbus only analyses raw data, either from the Flight Data
Recorder (FDR) or the maintenance recorder (QAR). In exceptional circumstances,
raw data from the Digital Access Recorder (DAR) may be used, providing that the
corresponding DAR database is supplied at the same time.
Flight raw data decoding
Airbus’ WISE (World In-Service Experience) solution (ref: EngOps-16063) provides
a list of usable data formats (file extensions) and a list of AMM tasks relative to the
procedure of flight raw data recovery.
Loads analysis
as per AMM
requirements
GLOSSARY
These two
are done
in parallel
Handling
Qualities
Analysis
(HQA)
FDR (Flight Data Recorder): Mandatory device that permanently works from
the first engine start until the end of the flight. Thanks to a large memory
capacity, it records many flight hours and numerous flight parameters.
QAR (Quick Access Recorder): Copy of the FDR and thus records the same
data. It allows a quick and easy recovery of the raw data recorded in FDR.
Only raw data is used for the event analysis.
DAR (Digital Access Recorder): Mostly maintenance and fleet monitoring
oriented and therefore should not be used for event analysis as the data
frame can be customized by the operators.
As a consequence some useful parameters could be missing to perform
a detailed HQA.
Maintenance recommendations
provided by relevant Airbus
Customer Services’ engineering
specialists for aircraft release
Handling Qualities Analysis report
Airbus delivers the HQA report within five weeks
of receiving the FDR raw data
PFR (Post Flight Report): Lists and displays after landing the ECAM
(Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor) warnings and system faults that
occurred during the flight.
OPERATOR
Engineering / Maintenance
Flight Operations
Flight Safety
17 FAST#53
16 FAST#53
ACMS (Aircraft Condition Monitoring System): Recovers the data supplied
by various systems for trend monitoring. It is also possible to use the
ACMS for specific troubleshooting.
Handling Qualities Analysis
Handling Qualities Analysis
A380 crosswind
landing campaign
in Reykjavik
(Iceland)
Centre
of Gravity
Wind reconstruction
Whenever relevant, Airbus initiates
a wind reconstruction (3 axes)
to better assess the effect of each
wind component (vertical, lateral
and longitudinal) on the aircraft
behaviour.
In the same way, in case of an aircraft
performance issue, the aircraft’s
Gross Weight (GW) and Centre of
Gravity (CG) can be re-computed and
compared to the data used/inserted
by the crew.
The HQA report handed to the operators includes the following information:
Y aircraft
(pitch axis)
• After validation of recorded parameters, a factual description of the event based
on the plots extracted from the FDR raw data, and the technical explanation
of the contributing factors,
Z aircraft
(yaw axis)
X aircraft
(roll axis)
• Summary of the technical data provided to Airbus,
• Operational information relative to the event,
Lateral wind’s influence on an aircraft’s trajectory
• Airbus’ operational documentation in which the operator can find useful
information to prevent a re-occurrence. The information can come either from
operational documentation (FCOM, QRH, FCTM) or Airbus’ general
brochures (Getting to Grips with…, Briefing Notes, etc.),
10.620
10 Kt Wind scale
Trajectory
• New system features or enhancements that can be installed through Airbus
Service Bulletins (SB). These upgrades may be means to minimize
re-occurrences (i.e. Pitch Limit Indicator and Pitch Auto Call-Out to limit tail
strike events).
10.615
CONCLUSION
09
Latitude
10.610
10.605
Handling Qualities Analysis report provides operators with a synthetic document addressing significant in-service
reported events.
Airbus’ operators receive a detailed analysis highlighting the contributing factors, to ease the understanding of the
in-service event. Its intention is to help the operators prevent re-occurrences. When necessary, Airbus provides
information to the operator on the eventual system improvements.
Thanks to this activity, Airbus proactively supports its operators in maximizing their operations and preventing
re-occurrence, with safety as first objective.
Touch
down
10.600
10.595
47.040
47.035
47.030
47.025
47.020
47.015
47.010
47.005
Longitude
Wind information
recorded on the FDR
Wind 310°/12 Kt
000° (North)
045°
315°
Heading
085°
090°
18 FAST#53
270°
135°
225°
180°
Wind sector
47.000
Airlines’ feedback
“Thank you for the new handling report.
It enables us to better understand what
happened from a technical point and is an
invaluable help for our internal investigation.
We especially welcome your prompt replies
and the detailed and precise answers to our
specific questions. Our company’s Flight
Safety department highly appreciates your
assistance. Once again thank you for your
invaluable support.”
Peter KRUPA
Training Captain A320 Chief Investigator
“Your report is very
professional and very
useful.”
Mr. Qingchen WANG
Vice-President Safety
“I would like to thank Airbus’ HQA
team for providing us with the
extensive analysis of this event.
The report was straightforward
and data analysis was complete.
This has already been forwarded
to the training department to be
included in our in-service events,
and will form part of our special
training session.”
Captain MARALIT
A319/A320 Chief Pilot
19 FAST#53
47.045
A350 XWB Electrical Structure Network
A350 XWB Electrical
Structure Network
Electrical principle
Your usual home electrical installation
Electrical
power centre
Equipment
Earth
A330 (metallic aircraft)
Electrical Structure Network (ESN) area
Electrical
power centre
Metallic Bonding Network (MBN) area
Aircraft
power
source
Equipment
Metallic aircraft structure
The Electrical Structure Network is necessary to ensure:
•Proper functioning of the aircraft systems
The use of carbon for aircraft structures on the A350 XWB
(Extra Wide Body) presents several advantages in terms of
weight and maintenance, but leads to differences in system
functionning, compared to a metallic structure. This article
presents the Electrical Structure Network (ESN), and its
particularities with regards to maintenance, the associated
documentation and the proposed training means.
•Aircraft’s structure integrity
(loss of mechanical properties in the Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) due to the joule effect)
•Staff and passenger safety
A350 XWB (CFRP fuselage)
Electrical
power centre
Equipment
Aircraft
power
source
MetallicStructure
aircraft structure
Electrical
Network
Functional current (grounding)
Fault current (bonding)
Power supply
Inherent electrical link through
mechanical assembly
CFRP element
To achieve the same electrical and environmental performance of aircraft metallic
structures, two different technical solutions have been implemented on the A350
XWB depending on the area and the expected function.
Damien SLOMIANOWSKI (right)
Engineer
Aircraft Electrical Installation & Standard Items
Customer Services Engineering
AIRBUS
[email protected]
Elsewhere a Metallic Bonding Network (MBN) has already been used. For example
on the wings, tail cone, empennage and belly fairing of the A380. It consists of a
network of metallic parts, electrically bonded together and used for a failure current
return path, equipment bonding, as well as lightning and Electro-Static Discharge
protection. This network is neither used as a functional current path (grounding),
nor to distribute the voltage reference to the equipment located in the area.
These functions are ensured thanks to dedicated cables routed in the harnesses.
Each MBN sub-network (wings, belly fairing, etc.) is connected to the ESN.
21 FAST#53
20 FAST#53
Christophe LOCHOT (left)
ESN Design Leader
Expert in Electrical Systems Engineering
AIRBUS
[email protected]
In the pressurized fuselage a highly distributed conductive network; known as the
Electrical Structure Network (ESN) is achieved thanks to both existing metallic
structure parts and to specific ESN parts.
This network offers the electrical and environmental conditions required for the
correct functioning of aircraft systems. Due to the discrete characteristics and
electrical properties of carbon, compared to a metallic fuselage, particular attention
should be given to maintaining the ESN system’s performance during the entire life
of the aircraft.
A350 XWB Electrical Structure Network
A350 XWB Electrical Structure Network
Parts supporting
the ESN
The specific ESN components are the:
• Cables used to create the link between the crown level,
and the passenger floor or cargo. This cable is routed by itself
and sometimes in a harness.
• Different types of raceways, located in the crown area
and under the cabin floor.
• Different types of flexible junctions providing additional
means to either reinforce electrical bonding between main
elements (e.g. crossbeam, frames, etc.) or create the electrical
continuity (e.g. between two raceways).
Electrical
Structure Network
definition
ESN is a metallic redundant and
passive network made of more than
6,000 parts. 40% of these parts have
specifically been defined for the ESN
(specific components), the other ones
are metallic parts already installed in
the aircraft for mechanical functions.
ESN cable
Type-1
raceway
Type-2
raceway
Type-3
raceway
Type-4
raceway
Type-3
raceway
Type-1
raceway
Type-2
raceway
Metallic frames
Type-4
raceway
ESN is composed of different element
families, which are:
• Structure metallic elements
(e.g. metallic frames, crossbeams,
seat tracks, roller tracks, etc.)
and their assembly,
Pax door
surroundings
Cabin floor
crossbeam
H-strut
Cockpit crossbeam
Avionic rack chassis
Avionic compartment
crossbeam
Cargo crossbeam
Cargo roller tracks
Raceways
Zones where the raceways are installed
• Mechanical elements
(e.g. parts supporting equipment
such as the electronics bay rack,
mechanical junctions, cabin
furnishing structures in the crown
area) and their assembly,
• Specific ESN components
(raceways with approximately
2.000 flexible junctions all along
the fuselage and cables).
Pax door
ESN cable
H-strut
Cargo door
Lower shell frame
Cargo crossbeams
23 FAST#53
22 FAST#53
Cabin floor
crossbeams
A350 XWB Electrical Structure Network
A350 XWB Electrical Structure Network
ESN in use:
In order not to isolate an ESN element (loss of local redundancy), ESN shall be
managed with care and generic rules shall be respected.
Maintenance
a - Installation/Removal/Repair:
• In case of repair, electrical properties have to be maintained between
the different elements.
• To validate the flexible junction installation (surface preparation, application
of the right torque value), a test under high current will have to be performed
for each electrical connection.
• To remove and install ESN parts Airbus’ documentation needs to be followed
in order to ensure the operator’s safety.
• Precautions are similar to the ones applicable to electrical systems on legacy
programmes.
b - Scheduled inspection
The ESN in-service integrity is ensured thanks to the scheduled maintenance,
to be performed in accordance with the documentation found in [email protected]
Scheduled maintenance will be performed through general visual inspections
during the zonal inspections planned, every six years for ESN parts located
in the nose fuselage (and especially close to the PVR) and every twelve years
for the complete fuselage.
Flexible junctions
The Point of Voltage Reference (PVR)
Aircraft modification
Located in the nose area at the passenger floor level, the PVR is the zero volt
reference shared by all aircraft equipment. The neutral of the aircraft alternating
current power sources and the cold point of the aircraft’s direct current sources
are connected to the PVR, as well as the neutral of the external ground carts.
The PVR is made of metallic frames, in the nose fuselage area, longitudinal beams
(called PVR-bars) and their associated flexible junctions.
The ESN modification has to be treated with precaution. In case of operator
modification needs, the following cases shall be considered:
• In case of system modification or addition, an electrical load analysis has to be
done for return current in order to guarantee the performance of the ESN
(current injection scenarios). This ESN Electrical Load Analysis is similar to the
one performed for the electrical power generation and distribution system.
ESN parts documentation
• In the Illustrated Part Data (IPD), all ESN parts will be specifically flagged,
• In the Maintenance Procedure (MP) all necessary maintenance instructions
will be described to ensure the continued airworthiness of the aircraft.
These instructions will be located in chapter 20 (e.g. the bonding procedure)
and chapter 24-77 (named Electrical Structural Network, new chapter introduced
for the A350 XWB). This dedicated chapter will deal with generic safety
precautions which apply to all ESN maintenance/repair activities.
All ESN tasks will refer to this chapter,
• In the Electrical Standard Practices Manual (ESPM), it will give descriptive
data and procedures for the electrical standard parts’ installations
(e.g. raceways, flexible junctions, etc.). It will provide instructions for part
removal and installation, damage assessment and repair solutions to be
applied, if deemed necessary,
24 FAST#53
• In the structural repair manual, allowable damage limits and repairs will take
into account the ESN requirements.
ESN
Airbus provides training that allows
airlines to increase their ESN
knowledge and to train electricians or
mechanics for maintenance purposes:
ATA 24 Electrical Structure Network
Maintenance (levels 2 and 3)
and the ESN Measurement/
Test tool,
ATA 51 Electrical Structure Network
(ESN) and Metallic Bonding
Network (MBN) awareness.
These are part of mandatory courses
for B1 and B2 aircraft maintenance
licences (specific aeronautical
qualifications).
•Any ESN physical modifications have to be analysed by Airbus before their
implementation.
CONCLUSION
ESN parts
identification
on aircraft
In order to ease the ESN
identification and maintenance
on the A350 XWB, the specific
ESN components, as its
secondary structure parts, are
identified with a green label.
To provide a similar electrical environment offered by metallic fuselages
for the aircraft systems, Electrical Structure Network (ESN) has been
introduced in composite fuselages. This metallic electrical network is
mainly built from elements with mechanical functions already present
in the aircraft.
Composite fuselages, even with the addition of the ESN, offer the
optimal solution in terms of weight and electrical performance
while minimizing operational and maintenance costs for airlines.
For maintenance and aircraft modifications, some comparable
precautions to those applicable for the electrical power generation
and distribution have to be taken. Airlines will receive the appropriate
Airbus technical documentation and dedicated support for their
A350 XWB. Airbus has already implemented appropriate training
courses for operators who wish to learn more about ESN, before
the A350 XWB Entry-Into-Service.
25 FAST#53
ESN elements are described in current [email protected] documentation (Airbus technical
documentation software):
Training
Towards a high European air traffic demand
Airbus’ involvement in SESAR
Time has come to act for the European airspace as air
traffic is expected to increase. Currently, constraints in
Europe’s fragmented airspace bring extra costs of close
to 5 billion Euros each year to airlines and their customers.
In order to avoid the risk of saturation of Europe’s skies
and airports, the European Commission launched an
ambitious initiative in 2004: the Single European Sky (SES).
Article by
Daniel CHIESA (left)
SESAR Work Package 11.1 Leader
AIRBUS
[email protected]
Joseph ABOROMMAN (right)
SESAR Work Package 11.1 Project Manager
AIRBUS
[email protected]
While the Single European Sky is a high level goal at a political level, SESAR
(Single European Sky ATM Research) represents its technological pillar
and is coordinated by the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU), a public and private
partnership co-financed by Eurocontrol and the aviation industry.
Within the SESAR programme, Airbus is leading the “Aircraft systems” and “Flight
and Wing Operations Centres”(FOC/WOC) Work Packages (WP). Airbus also
contributes to several other WPs in which entities such as Air Navigation Service
Providers (ANSP), airports or equipment manufacturers are involved.
In addition, Airbus also provides industrial support to the SESAR Joint
Undertaking (SJU) for managing the overall SESAR programme.
In this article, we will introduce the domains in which the SESAR programme
focuses on, and demonstrate in particular where Airbus has taken part in this
global partnership.
Single European Sky (SES)
The Single European Sky initiative has been launched to reform the architecture of
the European Air Traffic Management (ATM). It proposes a legislative approach to
meet the airspace’s future capacity and safety needs at a European, rather than a
local level.
Contrary to the United States, Europe does not have a single sky, one in which air
navigation is managed at the European level. Furthermore, European airspace is
amongst the busiest in the world with over 33,000 flights on busy days and a high
airport density. This makes air traffic control even more complex.
26 FAST#53
SESAR
As part of the SES initiative, SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) represents
its technological and operational dimension. The SESAR programme will help
create a “paradigm shift”, supported by state-of-the-art and innovative technology,
in order to give Europe a high-performance air traffic control infrastructure.
This programme promotes and ensures the interoperability at global level with other
initiatives in other parts of the world, by following the ICAO Global Air Navigation
Plan (GANP) and ICAO’s Aviation System Blocks Upgrades (ASBU) concept.
For the first time, all aviation players are involved in the three phases of the
pan-European modernization project:
•The ‘definition phase’ which delivered the ATM master plan defining the content,
the development and deployment plans of the next generation of ATM systems.
This definition phase was led by Eurocontrol, and co-funded by the European
Commission under the Trans European Network-Transport programme
and executed by a large consortium of all air transport stakeholders.
•The ‘development phase’ which produces the required new generation
of technological systems, components and operational procedures as defined
in the SESAR ATM Master Plan and Work Programme.
•The ‘deployment phase’ will see the large scale production and implementation
of the new ATM infrastructure, composed of fully harmonized and interoperable
components that guarantee high performance air transport activities in Europe.
SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU)
Taking into account the number of actors involved in SESAR, the financial resources
and the technical expertise needed, it was vital for the rationalization of activities to
set up a legal entity pursuant to Article 171 of the European Treaty (on the
functioning of the European Union) capable of ensuring the management of the
funds assigned to the SESAR project during its ‘development phase’.
Hence, the SJU was established in 2007 to implement the technology pillar of the
SES and, in this respect, is in charge of the SESAR project development phase, i.e.
is the guardian and the executor of the European ATM Master Plan.
The most recent version of the ATM Master Plan, approved in 2012, identifies
the essential operational changes that need to be implemented in three main
steps to lead to the full deployment of the new SESAR concept by 2030:
Step 1 Time based operations - concentrates on unlocking latent capability
particularly by improving information sharing to optimize network effects.
Step 2 Trajectory based operations - develops the System Wide Information
Management (SWIM) and initial trajectory management concepts
to increase efficiency.
Step 3 Performance based operations/improvements - will introduce a full
and integrated trajectory management with new separation modes
to achieve the long term political goal of SES.
The ATM Master Plan also includes the deployment baseline operational and
technological changes which are pre-requisite to operate and support the essential
operational changes of ‘step 1’.
Compared to the ATM performance in 2005, SESAR’s targets for both the
‘deployment baseline’ and the ‘step 1’ are the following:
• A 27 % increase in airspace capacity,
• An associated improvement in safety so that the total number of ATM-induced
incidents and serious or risk bearing incidents do not increase despite traffic
growth generated by SESAR (i.e. through air-space and airport-capacity increase),
• A 2.8 % reduction per flight in environmental impact,
• A 6 % reduction in cost per flight.
27 FAST#53
Towards a high European
air traffic demand
A partnership programme
Towards a high European air traffic demand
Towards a high European air traffic demand
SESAR programme
System development activities
The SESAR programme is divided in several Work Packages (WP) composed of several
projects. The WPs are also divided in several categories and sub-categories.
Airbus is the leader of WP 9 and 11.1
WP 9 Aircraft Systems (Airbus leader)
Key steps:
The scope of WP 9 covers the required evolutions of the aircraft platform,
in particular to progressively introduce 4D trajectory management functions
(three spatial dimensions, plus time) in mainline, regional and business aircraft.
“A Work Package for every step of the flight.”
The future, performance-based European ATM system, as defined in the SESAR
ATM Master Plan, foresees greater integration and optimum exploitation of the
aircraft. In order to reach this objective, a series of ‘capability levels’ have been
scheduled. Each capability level provides a stepped performance improvement,
synchronized across all components (and stakeholders) of the ATM system.
• Time based operations
• 4D trajectory operations
• Performance based
operations over a
SWIM/IP network
TOC
TOD
Top Of Climb
WP 15
WP 16
WP B & C
WP 3
This work package aims at:
TOC WP 4 & 10 TOD
WP 9 & 11
• Developing and validating at aircraft level all airborne functions identified
in the SESAR ATM Master Plan.
• Ensuring operational & functional consistency across stakeholder airborne
segments (commercial aircraft, business aviation, general aviation, military
aircraft, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), etc.).
Top Of Descent
Network
Information
management
WP 5 &10
Transversal
Airport
TMA
WP 6 & 12
WP 8 & 14
WP 7 & 13
WP 5 & 10
• Identifying technical solutions for different airborne platform types such as
mainline aircraft, regional aircraft and business jets.
• Insuring global interoperability and coordination with important external
initiatives such as NextGen (Next Generation) in the United States.
WP 6 & 12
En route
WP 10 En-Route & Approach ATC Systems
Operational activities
WP 10 designs, specifies and validates the En-route and TMA-ATC
(Terminal Air Traffic Control) systems’ evolutions for enhancing trajectory
management, separation modes, controller tools, safety nets, airspace
management supporting functions and tools, queue management
and route optimisation features.
WP 4 En-Route Operations
The scope of the En-Route Operations WP is to provide the operational concept
description for the En-Route Operations and perform its validation.
WP 12 Airport Systems
WP 12 encompasses all Research and Development (R&D) activities to define,
design, specify and validate the airport systems needed to support the SESAR
ATM target concept.
WP 5 Terminal Operations
The scope of this WP is to manage, co-ordinate and perform all
activities required to define and validate the ATM target concept (i.e. concept of
operations and system architecture) for the arrival and departure phases of flight.
WP 13 Network Information Management System
WP 13 covers the system and technical R&D tasks related to the Network
Information Management System (NIMS), the Advanced Airspace Management
System (AAMS) and the Aeronautical Information Management System (AIMS).
WP 6 Airport Operations
The scope of the Airport Operations WP is to refine and validate the concept
definition through the preparation and the coordination of its operational validation
process. The concept addresses developments associated with the “airside”
elements, such as airfield capacity management and continuous best use of
available infrastructure under all weather conditions.
WP 15 Non-Avionic CNS System
WP 15 (Non-Avionic CNS System) addresses CNS (Communication, Navigation
& Surveillance) technologies’ development and validation, also considering their
compatibility with the military and general aviation user needs.
WP 7 Network Operations
The scope of this WP covers the evolution of services in the business development
and planning phases to prepare and support trajectory-based operations including
airspace management, collaborative flight planning and Network Operations Plan
(NOP).
This WP addresses long-term and innovative research. WP E does not have a fixed
work programme but solicits proposals from the research community for the
formation of networks of expertise and for project works.
Courtesy of Eurocontrol
29 FAST#53
28 FAST#53
WP E SESAR Long Term and Innovative Research
Towards a high European air traffic demand
Towards a high European air traffic demand
Operational and system
development activities
SWIM
Transverse
activities
Parallel
programmes
WP 11.1 Flight and Wing Operations Centres
(Airbus leader)
The concept of SWIM (System Wide
Information Management) covers
a complete change in paradigm of how
information is managed along its full
lifecycle and across the whole European
ATM system.
WP B Target Concept and Architecture Maintenance
Similar initiatives to SESAR
regarding the Air Traffic Management
transformation programmes were
launched in other parts of the world;
for example, in the United States
through the Next Generation
Air Transport System (NextGen)
while in Japan with the Collaborative
Actions for Renovation of the Air
Traffic System (CARATS).
The Flight Operations Centre (FOC) is the Operations Control Center for a civil
airspace user and the Wing Operations Centre (WOC) is the Operations Centre
for a military airspace user.
Connecting
the ATM world
WP 11.1 covers the basis of operation for the future FOC/WOC, its role,
responsibilities, interactions and exchanges with other actors from an operational
point of view, taking in consideration the fundamental systems’ architectures.
The FOC/WOC system will enable airlines and military operators running this system
to reach the performance and safety targets of the SESAR environment.
The main objectives of WP 11.1 include:
WP 8 Information Management
• Defining FOC/WOC and non FOC/WOC operational concepts from the airspace
user’s perspective.
This WP is the follow-up of the
SWIM- SUIT* FP6 Commission. It will use
as an input the SWIM-SUIT deliverables
and align them with the SESAR Work
Programme components.
• Ensuring overall consistency of the business/mission trajectory management
concept from the airspace user’s perspective.
• Defining FOC/WOC operations and non FOC/WOC operations operational
and performance requirements for each element of the FOC/WOC and for
each airspace user category.
The scope of this WP is to develop SWIM
which is the ‘intranet for ATM’.
WP 14 SWIM
Technical Architecture
* SWIM-Suit is shorthand for SWIM-SUpported
by Innovative Technologies.
WP B, as a transverse work package, provides strategic and conceptual guidance
for the entire work programme including all threads (operational, technical
and SWIM) to ensure the consistent development of SESAR improvements.
WP C Master Plan Maintenance
The scope of the Master Plan Maintenance WP is to administrate the up-to-date
maintenance tasks of the ATM Master Plan, to monitor the progress of its
development and its implementation.
WP 3 Validation Infrastructure Adaptation and Integration
WP 3 involves all relevant European ATM stakeholders to benefit from existing
expertise, tools and validation platforms, to make available a reference Validation
and Verification infrastructure to be used during the SESAR development phase.
WP 16 R&D Transversal Areas
The scope of this WP covers the improvements needed to adapt the Transversal
Area (TA) management system practices to SESAR, as well as towards
an integrated management system in the fields of safety, security, environment,
contingency and human performance.
Conversely, Europe and the
United States agreed to cooperate
on SESAR and NextGen through
a Memorandum of Cooperation
(MoC) in civil aviation research
and development.
• Getting the buy-in of the airspace user’s community.
• Providing the system definition, system requirements and system architecture
for a generic FOC/WOC that meet the user’s needs for a FOC/WOC operating
in the SESAR target ATM network.
Business/mission
trajectory
• Providing the system definition, system requirements and system architecture
enabling the airspace users that are not supported by FOC, an access to the
SESAR ATM environment.
“Business trajectory” relates to civil
users, and “mission trajectory” relates
to military users.
• To develop prototypes which demonstrate that requirements are compliant
with the production of open standards as developed and used in the entire
SESAR project philosophy.
A 4D trajectory which expresses the
intentions of the user with or without
constraints includes both ground
and airborne segments of the aircraft
operation (gate-to-gate) and is built
from, and updated with, the most
timely and accurate data available.
• To perform the pre-operational validation of solutions developed within WP 11.1.
WP 11.2 Meteorological Information Services
CONCLUSION
GLOSSARY
4D
4 dimensions (3 spatial dimensions + time)
ANSP
Air Navigation Service Provider
ATM
Air Traffic Management
CNS
Communication Navigation Surveillance
FOC
Flight Operations Centre
ICAO
International Civil Aviation Organization
NextGen Next Generation (USA)
30 FAST#53
SES
Single European Sky
SESAR
Single European Sky ATM Research
SJU
SESAR Joint Undertaking
SWIM
System Wide Information Management
TMA
Terminal control Area
WOC
Wing Operations Centre
WP
Work Package
The European Air Traffic Management (ATM) system is operating close to its limits and is facing the challenge of continuously
growing demand in air transport. The Single European Sky (SES) initiative was created at a political level in order to achieve
the performance objectives and the targets of the future ATM system in Europe.
The SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) programme, representing the technological dimension of the SES, has
brought together for the first time in European ATM history, the major stakeholders in European aviation to develop the ATM
target concept through new processes, procedures and supporting technologies.
Airbus, as one of the SESAR members, is leading two particular Work Packages (WP) of the SESAR programme, therefore
contributing to safer and more efficient skies. Airspace users expect their requirements for the ATM system to be better
accommodated in order to strengthen the air transport value chain. The ATM target concept is centred around the characteristic
of the business trajectory with the purpose of operating a flight as close as the preferred trajectory by the airspace user.
The challenge of developing the new ATM architecture through a wide cooperation between all the involved stakeholders
implies a long and strong coordination. Hence, the SESAR programme has, and will, ensure its continuous and consistent
development for the years to come.
31 FAST#53
WP 11.2 addresses the critical dependency between weather, the environment,
and the SESAR programme. WP 11.2 provides the SJU and its partners with the
opportunity to properly integrate weather into the SESAR programme
to enhance the likelihood of success of its final outcomes, and ensuring
successful operational implementation of the future air transport system.
As the Meteorological (MET) service federating project within the programme,
WP 11.2 will ensure consistency and coordination of the MET architecture,
systems and services used by all SESAR projects.
Courtesy of Eurocontrol
Volcanic eruptions - Ashes to AVOID
Volcanic eruptions
Ashes to AVOID
Following the Eyafjallajökull volcano eruption in April 2010,
airspace was shut down due to the massive ash cloud
prediction covering most parts of northern Europe.
This event grounded aircraft for several days, with an
immediate economic impact for airlines. On top of this,
stranded passengers expressed dissatisfaction, not
understanding why aircraft could not fly through an
invisible ash cloud.
11:20:00
11:00:00
10:00:00
A visible ash plume containing larger particles of ash spread
over several kilometres from the volcano vent, but the
dominant winds dispersed and pushed finer particles much
further, not visible to the eye but nevertheless, still there.
32 FAST#53
In May of this year, using the very first A400M, close to one metric ton of genuine
volcanic ash from the Eyafjallajökull was collected from the Icelandic Institute of
volcanology.
The ash was then taken to Alès in southern France for milling, reducing the grain
size to about 25 microns, to resemble fine volcanic ash that had been transported
in the atmosphere over more than 2000 km.
10:24:00
10:35:00
The A400M had been prepared
with special devices employing the
differential of the fuselage’s pressure
in flight, controlled to an elevated level,
allowing dispersal of the ash from the
barrels into the air behind the aircraft.
The A400M spiralled in a 3 km
diameter circle, climbing each half
turn by a small amount, ensuring it
would not enter the ash cloud it had
produced.
Two teams of four trained ash handlers
emptied all the ash barrels according
to a time schedule which, together with
the geometry of the circles flown with
help of a precise bank angle mode,
would produce the ash cloud in the
desired uniformity and concentrations
targeted.
33 FAST#53
Article by
Manfred BIRNFELD
Senior Flight Test Engineer/Senior Expert
AIRBUS
[email protected]
Concerted efforts have been made by Airbus’ customer
easyJet, Nicarnia Aviation of Norway and Airbus, with the
help of technicians from the Duesseldorf University of Applied
Sciences Laboratory of Environmental Measurement
Techniques, to make a significant step in the development
of a system to be able to “see” fine particles of volcanic ash
suspended in the air in order to “avoid” them.
This article will take you through the flight test performed in
October 2013 to validate a new system called simply: AVOID
(Airborne Volcanic Object Imaging Detector).
10:50:00
Volcanic eruptions - Ashes to AVOID
Volcanic eruptions - Ashes to AVOID
The second aircraft on the scene was a small twin piston engine propeller aircraft,
a Diamond DA 42 from the manufacturer’s plant in Vienna. Brought over and
operated by scientists from Düsseldorf’s University of Applied Science, it was fitted
with special sampling devices, able to detect and measure in-situ the content
and the characteristics of the volcanic ash cloud produced by the A400M.
Tasks for the DIAMOND DA 42 MPP aircraft during the experiment:
• Perform in-situ ash measurements with high accuracy
• Track the plume geometry
• Determine the size distribution of the ash particles
• Transmit the measurement result on-line to the A340
A third aircraft, A340 MSN 001 carried the AVOID sensor for which the cloud had
been made. The device consists of a pair of infrared (IFR) cameras intended
to capture the IFR signature of the scenery in front of the aircraft. The camera’s IFR
imagery is analysed using filtering techniques which dissociate the IFR absorption
in order to identify when absorption by volcanic ash particles has taken place.
It uses this technique to detect the presence of volcanic ash in front of the aircraft.
At an altitude of more than 30,000 feet, it would be able to “see” ash of a significant
concentration at a distance of 100 km. The more ash in the air, the higher the
measured IFR absorption will be. When perfectly calibrated, the measurement can
be developed to give a reliable reading of the “ash loading” (mass per surface area,
in g/m2) ahead of the aircraft.
The experiment was the first time the AVOID sensor was exposed to realistic
volcanic ash while being carried by a civil transport aircraft.
After the volcanic eruptions of Eyafjallajökull (2010) and Grimsvötn (2011) in Iceland,
Airbus teamed up with Nicarnia Aviation, the developer of the AVOID sensor, and
easyJet who is sponsoring AVOID’s development, aiming to make proof of concept
tests and develop the sensor.
Initial trials had been carried out in July 2012 which validated the installation
principle and explored the flight envelope of the A340 with the sensor installed.
One of the main purposes of these trials was to look for absence of false detections.
The sensor was therefore not intended to be exposed to volcanic ash during these
trials. However, on one occasion on a long flight south, the sensor detected the
presence of Saharian dust in the air. This dust’s IFR absorption is very similar to
volcanic ash since it contains similar chemical components.
Inside the ‘cavernous’ A400M MSN 001
preparing for volcanic ash distribution
Airbus Flight Test Specialist Julie MAUTIN
and Céline COHEN of Assystem using pressure
differentials to ‘vacuum’ the barrels of ash
35 FAST#53
34 FAST#53
The entire test was filmed by a fourth aircraft: Aerovision’s specially equipped
Corvette to video and photograph the three aircraft at work in flight.
Volcanic eruptions - Ashes to AVOID
Volcanic eruptions - Ashes to AVOID
Infrared imagery
The trials in July 2012 were successful and gave the initiative for the next step:
exposure to a real volcanic ash cloud.
As the precise time and place of a volcanic eruption are absolutely unpredictable,
the idea of making a small, but representative cloud was rapidly born.
The A400M which was conducting flight tests had the capabilities to precisely
execute the spiralling flight path required and it had the cargo hold allowing a team
to work at the dispersion of the ash.
Impossible to discriminate ash from other clouds
Aircraft Lon: -2.097 o
Lat: 44.991o
Alt: 5008 ft Pitch: 3.669 o
Heading= 9.646 o
Brightness temperature (K) - Broadband channel (Ch1)
248
254
261
268
274
281
288
The ash release and detection experiment made on 30th October 2013 represents
a success in several aspects:
• We have been able to artificially create a representative volcanic ash cloud
with the predicted size and distribution.
15000
ALTITUDE (FEET)
• The ash particles measured inside the cloud were identified as being very
similar if not identical to ash particles captured over Europe during the 2010
Eyafjallajökull eruption.
• It demonstrated real time data availability from in-situ measurements. The ash measurement data were transmitted in real time from the DA42
to the A340 MSN 001 using satellite data communication and a simple
Internet site.
10000
Heading
5000
What’s next?
TIME: 10:57:58 UT DISTANCE: 40.7 km
-3
-2
-1
0
1
HORIZONTAL DISTANCE (KM)
2
3
Detection of volcanic ash using AVOID
0.20
0.40
0.60
0.80
Although the results of this experiment are very encouraging, the AVOID sensor is still in a prototype condition. It will need
development with automatisms replacing the scientist’s individual intervention for the IFR data interpretation. That will take
some time.
The data produced needs to be analysed and integrated into the big puzzle of information necessary to make flying in the
vicinity of volcanic ash safe. There are several interesting work packages to be defined. It could well be that in the future a pilot
will be given information that integrates AVOID sensor’s data. It will be Airbus’ task to work on an integrated system and
develop, potentially together with a system manufacturer, the necessary system philosophy and cockpit interface.
Mass loading (g/m 2 )
0.00
And the main result: the AVOID sensor images captured the volcanic ash cloud from
a distance of 50 km. Given the small size of our cloud and the resulting low “mass
loading”, it was a great success. It is now realistic to believe that detection
of significant ash loading at a distance of 100 km is feasible.
1.00
In the meantime, easyJet plans to develop a stand alone solution, with the aim of producing an instrument which can enhance
flight safety when operating in the vicinity of volcanic ash clouds. This would be used conforming to the rules of a safety
assessment integrating all available data from forecasting, satellite imagery and local observation.
ALTITUDE (FEET)
15000
CONCLUSION
The Icelandic volcano eruptions in 2010 and 2011 brought home the necessity to be able to measure the risk
of volcanic ash contamination of air space and avoid grounding traffic unnecessarily.
A joint initiative between easyJet, Nicarnia Aviation and Airbus set about developing an air contamination
detection system named AVOID. The Duesseldorf University of Applied Sciences’ Laboratory of Environmental
Measurement Techniques, participated, providing key services and in-situ measurement techniques.
10000
Heading
5000
TIME: 10:57:58 UT DISTANCE: 40.7 km
36 FAST#53
-3
-2
WARNING: ASH ASH ASH
-1
0
1
HORIZONTAL DISTANCE (KM)
2
3
In time AVOID sensors could be integrated into aircraft systems to inform pilots of ash presence at up to
100 km ahead.
Volcanoes are not really predictable, and they’re unstoppable. Their ash clouds significantly disturb flying if the
threat of the particles is not measurable. AVOID is destined to help us avoid situations like the traffic grounding
for Eyafjallajökull.
37 FAST#53
This system was tested in October 2013 with a small cloud of fine ash released into the atmosphere by an
Airbus A400M. It demonstrated the AVOID sensor detection capapility. Real time data was available from in-situ
measurements. Ash measurement data were transmitted in real time from a DA42 sampling the cloud, to an
A340; these were compared with infrared observations made by the AVOID system. AVOID’s sensors captured
the volcanic ash cloud from a distance of 50 km. Given the size and low “mass loading” of the cloud, the results
are encouraging.
FAST
from the PAST
We’ve got it covered
There wouldn’t be any future
without the experience of the past.
Around the clock, around the world,
Airbus has more than 240 field representatives
Concorde MSN 2 - 1970
based in over 110 cities
Concorde’s all metal frame made bonding easy
and needed no supplimentary Electrical Structure
Network (read article page 20). This still meant
an impresive amount of cables that needed to be
channeled throughout the aircraft.
Even with the advent of optic fibre cabling, each
successive Airbus programme uses more wiring
as new technology is developed.
Airbus’ largest aircraft the A380 uses an amazing
350 kilometres of cables.
WORLDWIDE
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TRAINING CENTRES
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[email protected]
Airbus Training Centre
Toulouse, France
Tel: +33 (0)5 6193 3333
Fax:+33 (0)5 6193 2094
Spares AOG/Work Stoppage
• Outside the Americas:
Tel: +49 (0)40 5076 4001
Fax:+49 (0)40 5076 4011
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• In the Americas:
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Training Centre
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38 FAST#53
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Spares In-Flight orders outside the Americas:
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Spares related HMV issues outside the Americas:
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Spares RTN/USR orders in the Americas:
Please contact your dedicated customer spares
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39 FAST#53
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